FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Florida Department of Health continues surveillance after MERS infection

The Florida Department of Health said on Thursday that it is continuing to monitor the possible spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Surveillance and contact testing continue under standard health protocols, and the Department of Health is working with the CDC and the Dr. P. Phillips Hospital to care for the man confirmed to have the virus on May 12. The man is in stable condition and continues to improve.

All healthcare workers who may have come into contact with the MERS-CoV patient in Orange County have tested negative for the disease, and the Department of Health said there is no risk to the general public or those traveling to the Orlando area.

The healthcare worker from Saudi Arabia was the second confirmed case of MERS-CoV in the U.S. Another man in Indiana was confirmed to have the virus and had also traveled recently to the Middle East.

Most cases of MERS-CoV are characterized by an acute respiratory illness with a cough, fever or shortness of breath. More than 450 cases of the disease were confirmed in Saudi Arabia as of May of this year. Approximately 30 percent of those who were confirmed to have the disease died.

Other cases of MERS have been confirmed in seven other countries outside of the Middle East, including France, Germany and the U.K.